26 September 2023

Live At The Perth Concert Hall

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Eskimo Joe & WASO (West Australian Symphony Orchestra), Warner Music Australia 2019.

Eskimo Joe continue their series of albums to celebrate their 21 years of existence as a band.

So far they have worked chronologically through their releases, however this album is a bit different from the others.

While all the other releases this year have been special packaged re-issues of their initial albums which included extra material such as demos, live recordings, and rejected tracks etc, this disc presents us with a rather different experience.

Eskimo Joe & WASO captures the band performing key songs from the band’s rich catalogue supported by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in front of a sold-out audience in 2018.

The album was recorded live at the Perth Concert Hall and was the culmination of a process that took many months and saw the band reimagine 13 of their songs.

Months spent subtly modifying arrangements paid off with tracks taking on a new life and revealing exciting new facets.

Guitarist Stu MacLeod comments: “Reimagining our songs as orchestral pieces was such a uniquely inspiring undertaking. The arrangements came up beautifully. Songs like Running Out Of Needs, Comfort You, and Childhood Behaviour, which may have been previously overlooked as album highlights, took centre stage with incredibly rich dynamics and exciting crescendos.”

Eskimo Joe front man Kav Temperley said: “The first time we stepped on to the stage at the Perth Concert Hall and sang with the full weight of the orchestra behind us, it was near impossible to wipe the smiles off our faces.”

The experience must have been incredible.

To hear your songs backed with the power of a full orchestra driving them is something few songwriters will ever experience.

As Kav says “To hear our songs reimagined into orchestral form was a truly unique way to be able to reflect on a career that has taken us from jamming in our bedrooms to playing our music internationally.”

I have presented every one of Eskimo Joe’s special releases this year to you and I have to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The band embark on an Australian tour from September through to December. Venues and dates are on their website.

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